If you are under age 65 and not eligible for Medicare, and you would like to receive a free prescription discount card, click here: www.cbdrx.net. When the page opens, scroll to the bottom of the page and follow the instructions to receive your free prescription discount drug card. Take this prescription discount card to your local pharmacy and they should take care of you. If you have any problems or questions just call the RIPEA office at 1-800-345-9214.

Caution:
If you are age 65 or older and Medicare eligible, please read the following information before you request and/or use the RIPEA Discount Rx (Prescription) Drug card.

RIPEA Discount Rx (Prescription) Drug Plan

RIPEA has for many years offered a prescription discount Rx drug card at no cost to our members.  However, since Medicare does not consider the typical drug card such as the one offered by RIPEA to be a “credible plan,” it can cause members age 65 or older (eligible for Medicare) significant problems and in fact could actually cost them money.

Therefore, effective immediately the RIPEA Insurance Trustees have decided to stop issuing a discount drug card to any RIPEA member age 65 or older.  However, RIPEA will continue to offer their Prescription Drug Card to any member under age 65.  Because this issue is complex, if you are age 65 or older and you have a RIPEA discount drug card the RIPEA Insurance Trustees recommend you stop using it.

NOTE: “An individual who does not enroll in the Medicare Rx drug plan on the 1st day of the month they turn age 65 and they decide to enroll at a later date are assessed a 1% penalty for each month they delayed their enrollment.  For example: If a person’s 65th birthday is June 5, 2018, and they do not enroll in the Medicare Rx drug plan until June 5, 2020, they will pay a 24% penalty for the rest of their life. This penalty is waived if the person was covered by a “creditable drug plan.” Drug discount cards such as RIPEA’s drug card are not considered a “creditable plan.”

If you would like to understand this issue in more detail in order to make your own determination whether to continue using the RIPEA Discount Rx (Prescription) Drug card, please read the following information.  If you decide to continue using the RIPEA discount Rx drug card, using the card will be at your own risk and RIPEA and the RIPEA Insurance Trustees will not be liable for any financial loss due to your use of the RIPEA discount drug card.

QUESTION:  If drugs purchased through the RIPEA Discount Rx (Prescription) Drug Plan are not reported to the Medicare Part D Drug Plans, is the RIPEA Discount Rx Drug Plan useful, and if so when?

It is true that prescription drugs purchased through the RIPEA Discount Rx Drug Plan are not reported to Medicare and therefore do not count toward your Medicare Part D coverage.  The RIPEA Discount Rx Drug Plan can be useful; however, it is important that you know exactly how it works so you can use it to your benefit.  Below is an explanation regarding when the RIPEA Discount Rx Drug Plan is useful in lowering drug costs and when it may cost you money.

Although carrier-provided Medicare Drug Plans will vary as to how drugs are covered, following is a basic design of how the plans work:

Level 1: Deductible:  Usually less, but could be up to $400
Level 2: Patient purchases drugs with copays until the total amount paid reaches $3,700
Level 3: Donut Hole is where patients pay 100% of cost to a maximum of $4,950 per year*
Level 4: Catastrophic Coverage: Patient pays a very small copay for covered drugs for the remainder of the calendar year.

*The Federal government has negotiated discounts for drugs in the “Donut Hole” that will allow 2018 discounts up to 60% of brand name drugs and 50% of generic drugs.

WHEN AND WHERE NOT TO USE THE RIPEA DISCOUNT RX DRUG PLAN:

1          If you take very few drugs and will not meet the annual deductible of your Medicare Drug Rx Plan, you can safely use the RIPEA Discount Rx Drug Plan to lower your annual Rx costs.

RATIONALE:  There are no discounts offered under the Medicare Rx Plan deductible.  You will      pay the full cost of the drug. Therefore, the RIPEA Discount Rx Drug Plan would lower your drug cost since you are not expecting to meet your Medicare Rx Plan deductible anyway.

2          If you expect your 2018 drug usage to be higher than your Medicare Rx plan deductible, do not use the RIPEA Rx Discount Drug Program.

RATIONALE:  The Medicare Rx Drug coverage beyond the Level 1 Deductible now offers very low copays in Level 2 and large discounts in Level 3.  These discounts are overall superior to the discounts offered through the RIPEA Discount Rx Drug Plan.

3          If you are not eligible for a Medicare Rx Drug Plan (For example, you are under age 65) then the RIPEA Discount Rx Drug Plan may be an attractive alternative that may help reduce your drug costs.  However, if you have another health plan with drug coverage (group or individually), you will need to ask your druggist to compare the cost under your health plan to the RIPEA Discount Rx Drug Plan cost to determine the better value.

4          SUMMARY:
If you are not eligible for a Medicare Rx Drug Plan or if you do have a Medicare Rx Drug Plan and your drug usage is expected to be less than the plan annual deductible, you may be able to lower your prescription drug costs by using the RIPEA Discount Rx Drug Plan.  In almost every other situation you may be better off not using the RIPEA Discount Rx Drug Plan.

Again, because this issue is complex, if you are age 65 or older and you have a RIPEA discount drug card the RIPEA Insurance Trustees recommend you stop using it.